Treatment of Congenital Nystagmus (a.k.a. Infantile Nystagmus Syndrome)

Congenital nystagmus is an abnormal repetitive oscillation of eye movements which typically onset at 2 to 3 months of age. The amplitude and frequency of the nystagmus can vary from moment to moment and often increased by active fixation, attention or anxiety.  Amplitude may be minimized by convergence and purposeful lid closure.

The neuropathology and treatment of congenital nystagmus are variable, but neuro-optometric rehabilitation should be considered as a treatment option for congenital nystagmus.

We recently presented a case study at the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitative Association annual meeting that was held in San Diego that outlines the successful use of Visagraph IITM in the Vision Therapy treatment of a patient with congenital nystagmus by providing biofeedback to decrease the amplitude of the nystagmus.

The exam findings include horizontal jerk nystagmus, reduced visual acuity, myopia, moderate astigmatism, intermittent exotropia, binocular dysfunction, oculomotor dysfunction, reduced visual motor integration, and retention of primitive reflexes.

Improvement in binocular visual acuity was observed along with a reduction in the amplitude and the frequency of the nystagmus.

Keywords: Nystagmus treatment, vision therapy, eye movements

by Jessica Fang, O.D.

Office of Derek Tong, O.D.

Center for Vision Development Optometry

About tongvision

Dr. Tong founded the Center for Vision Development Optometry in 2002 and the center is known for its friendly and caring staff. The center’s main focus are helping children and adults with learning-related vision problem, strabismus (eye turn), amblyopia (lazy eye), autism, head injury, and stroke. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling with his family and teaching children’s bible lessons at his local Bible Study Fellowship. Dr. Tong has been an Optometrist for over 20 years. He is a Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development (COVD), the American Academy of Optometry (AAO), and the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA). His professional affiliations include memberships in the California and American Optometric Associations, the International Sports Vision Association, Optometric Extension Program Foundation, COVD, AAO, and NORA. He has served as trustee and past-president of the San Gabriel Valley Optometric Society. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor of both the Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University and the Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry.
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